Past Exhibits

Shadows of Conflict: Clarke County and the Civil War


This exhibit opens March 25th, 2014 (opening reception April 4th) and closes March 21st, 2015.

While no military battles were fought here, the issues that drove our nation to war were just as relevant on the western frontier. Visit your museum to view our latest exhibit, Shadows of Conflict: Clarke County and the Civil War. Artifacts, documents and images from the museum’s collection will be used to illustrate how the war’s long shadow touched Clarke County and its citizens.

Click here to see North Bank Now magazine’s article on the exhibit.

Columbia Credit Union is sponsoring this exhibit.

North Bank Now magazine features “Hats!” exhibit

Click here to read North Bank Now’s article on our exhibit Hats!


Art of Legacy

PencilsJune 5th the museum opened Art of Legacy, the brainchild of North Bank’s Executive Director Maureen Andrade and CCHM’s former Executive Director Susan Tissot. Student artwork will be on display June-August 2014 at the Clark County Historical Museum and North Bank Artists Gallery.

A panel discussion about Art of Legacy with teachers, students, and museum staff was held at the museum on Thursday, June 5 at 7pm as part of First Thursday at the Museum.

About Art of Legacy

North Bank Artists Gallery and the Clark County Historical Museum partnered to develop the Art of Legacy pilot program. In spring of 2014, staff from the gallery and museum worked with veteran teacher Fae Moeller and her advanced art class from Thomas Jefferson Middle School on this multi-disciplinary art and humanities project.

In February, students spent an entire school day touring the museum and listening to lectures from museum staff. After the museum field trip teaching artists kathi rick, Sharri LaPierre, Cynthia Heise, and Pepper Kim worked in the classroom with the students. They created art projects based on historic themes from their museum experience.

Gallery and museum staff prepared the students’ artwork for public display while Ms. Moeller worked with students on artist statements for each project. Visitors to the museum and gallery will see a variety of work and be able to read about the students’ experiences.


Curiosity: Clark County, Real and Imagined

Postcard_Front_Final_rSatisfy your curiosity while sharing ours at our newest exhibit, Curiosity: Clark County, Real and Imagined, sponsored by Stahancyk, Kent & Hook P.C., whose Vancouver office is located in the historic Charles Brown house downtown. This quirky exhibit will give you a peek at oddities in the museum’s artifact, photographic and archival collections while divulging fascinating facts–and fallacies–in our shared community story.



Labor: A Working History


Click here to read an article in the Northwest Labor Press about the exhibit.
Click here for The Columbian’s article.

Run dates: July 11, 2013 – August 1, 2015

Clock in at the museum to discover the significance of Clark County’s work and workers by tracing their development against a backdrop of regional and national labor movement milestones. Learn more about the past, present and future of local labor through words, images and artifacts, plus interactive displays for the young at heart.

Following the reception, author and University of Washington professor Dr. Michael Honey will present a special Second Thursday lecture entitled, “Links on the Chain: Labor and Civil Rights in Story and Song”. Refreshments will be provided by The Grant House Restaurant. CCHS members, military veterans, and active-duty military personnel and their families all receive free admission to the museum; otherwise, regular admission rates apply.

“Labor: A Working History” follows the path of workers’ rights locally and on a national scale beginning in the 1800s with Hawaiian and Native American laborers for the Hudson’s Bay Company. As industry began to grow in Vancouver through large companies like the Star Brewery and service industry jobs increased as a result, workers began to band together to protect their wages and rights. Continuing through the 20th century, the exhibit highlights the effects of the world wars on workers’ unions and the internal struggles between organized labor groups such as the AFL and the CIO. Since the 1980s and the rise of inflation and automation, labor unions have lost much of the power they once held, and the exhibit notes the plight of present-day workers and the specter of a future where they do not have the protections of strong labor unions.


Click here for a current list of exhibit sponsors.

Labor Panel Discussion to Air on CVTV

In March 2014, we held a panel discussion with three local labor issues authors at the Vancouver Community Library. A taping of this 2-hour program will be aired locally on CVTV through March 29th, and is also available on-demand here.


Vet Ink: Military-Inspired Tattoos

Run dates: February 19, 2013 – September 27, 2013

Click here to read an article about the exhibit in The Columbian, here for The Oregonian’s story on the exhibit, here to read about the exhibit on, and here to read about it in the UK’s Daily Mail Online! For a full list of media that ran articles about this exhibit, please visit our Press page.

We’re pretty excited about the very first exhibit to grace the walls of our ‘brick room’ gallery! It’s titled “Vet Ink: Military-Inspired Tattoos”, and it runs now through September 2013. The exhibit features the tattoos and stories of eleven local service-members who answered a solicitation put out into the community in the past several weeks.

All subjects were photographed for the exhibit by Kate Singh of Aevum Images in downtown Vancouver and were interviewed by museum staff for the interpretive panels. Locally-trained tattoo artist and co-owner of Timeless Tattoo in Portland, Brynn Sladky, helped museum Collections Manager Kris Wells create two painted panels featuring tattooed figures with cutouts for faces for visitors to use as a tattoo photobooth. Brynn also created custom temporary tattoos that are available in the museum store.

Here’s what exhibit photographer Kate Singh had to say about the exhibit:

The VET INK project excited me when I was asked to be the photographer. I have always been a storyteller; as a nurse, as a mom and as a photographer. The opportunity to tell Veterans’ stories about their tattoos was an amazing opportunity to give value, honor and respect to every generation that would come in. We have a common bond, a sense of family in the military that extends to all who have served…the homeless, the moms and dads, the politician, and the business owner; crossing all lines of gender, race and social status you are respected.

Veterans featured in the exhibit—and their families—receive free admission. CCHS members also get in for free; otherwise, regular museum admission is charged. Call the museum for more information about this and other exhibits.

*As always, CCHS members and active-duty military personnel and their families receive free museum admission. In special conjunction with this exhibit, all U.S. Military Veterans receive free admission through September 28, 2013.

You can watch a video made for the exhibit by clicking the play button below.

Digital Vet Ink submissions

Click on the image(s) below to see additional panels from online submissions to “Vet Ink: Military-Inspired Tattoos”. To submit your own story, click here.


Richard Brautigan

Run dates: January 3rd, 2013 – March 6th, 2013.

An exhibit on Richard Brautigan is now on display in our northwest gallery, just in time for January 27th’s interNational Unpublished Writers’ Day Workshop at the museum.

Come browse black and white prints of Brautigan taken by photographer Erik Weber as well as artifacts from the Brautigan Library in Vermont and from Richard’s life.


Taste of Native America

Opened Thursday, July 5th, 2012 and ran through December 29, 2012.

A Taste of Native America explores the food and related culture of native people throughout Washington. Local rivers, forests and prairies provided a varied and nutritious diet. Fishing, hunting, gathering, and food preparation remain important skills handed down through generations. Ceremony and ritual underscore the importance of food to native life. This traveling exhibit from the Washington State Historical Society’s Traveling Exhibit Service will be supplemented with examples of native foods and related items from the Clark County Historical Museum’s collection. A special installation by award winning Wasco, Yakima, and Warm Springs artist Lillian Pitt is featured.

Exhibit sponsored in part by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Historical Society.

Lecture sponsored in part by: Applied Archaeological Research and Northwest Cultural Resources Institute. Lecture/reception refreshments donated by The Grant House Restaurant.

Media Sponsors: The Columbian and the Vancouver Business Journal


Above & Below the Fold: News Fit to Print

Opened Tuesday, April 17th, 2012. Closed May 31st, 2013.

Click here to read an article from The Columbian‘s business editor Gordon Oliver on technology in museums.

* * *

Above and Below the Fold interprets Clark County history through the eyes of its reporters. Drawn from abstracts summarizing Clark County newspaper articles from 1850-1958 and compiled by former educator Carl Landerholm, this exhibit is an overview of what Landerholm focused on in his comprehensive publication, the Vancouver Area Chronology. We combine the significant events “above the fold” with the unusual events “below the fold” to provide a glimpse into our local past.

The exhibit features artifacts from the museum’s broad based collection including the 1873 Washington Hand Press which was used to print The Vancouver Independent newspapers (precursor to The Columbian). Visitors can watch a televised demonstration of how our 1873 Washington hand press works courtesy of Arizona State Parks.

After putting on the headphones found by the pair of reclining chairs in the exhibit’s living room (courtesy of Sparks Home Furnishings) visitors can listen to samples from the museum’s oral history collection. A special recording booth is available in the gallery for visitors who want to add their stories to the exhibit.

The Columbian, the Camas/Washougal Post-Record and The Reflector are providing subscriptions to their newspapers for visitors who would like to sit back in the recliners and put their feet up to read the local news.

Tech savvy visitors can use their smartphones (with a QR Code app) to scan QR codes throughout the exhibit to read miniature ‘newspapers.’ Additional media is also available via audio recordings accessible by conventional cell phones using the Guide by Cell program to which the museum subscribes.

The exhibit is sponsored in part by the Landerholm Law Offices and Dovy and Irwin Landerholm. Media sponsors are The Columbian, Vancouver Business Journal and The Daily Insider. The exhibit runs through May 31, 2013. The museum will host a number of workshops related to the exhibit theme during the course of the exhibit run.

Who Was Carl Landerholm?

Carl Landerholm (1885-1961) had a 40-year career in Clark County’s public schools serving as a popular teacher, principal, and superintendent until retiring in 1947. He assembled the Vancouver Area Chronology between 1956 and 1959, working steadily 5-8 hours each day poring over literally millions of words in area newspapers and documents. The Chronology is available in hard copy at the Clark County Historical Museum’s Research Library and electronically via our website under electronic resources.

For kids: click here to download an Above the Fold scavenger hunt!


Mapping Clark County: Maps & Aerial Photographs 1854-2000

Photograph of 'Mapping Clark County' exhibit case at the 2011 Palmer Wirfs Antique & Collectible Show in Ridgefield, WA

On display from February through June 23, 2012 in our northwest gallery will be Mapping Clark County: Maps & Aerial Photographs 1854-2000, a wonderful new exhibit featuring maps and aerial photographs of Clark County from 1854 to 2000, along with tools of the trade including the solar transit used by C. C. Redman to survey Vancouver Barracks more than 160 years ago and items on loan from the office of longtime Vancouver mapmaker Phil Arnold, who died on January 14 at age 96. This exhibit is dedicated to his memory.


Working with Tradition: Folk Artists of Washington State

This exhibit ran from November 15th, 2011 to February 18th, 2012.

Beginning November 15th, 2011, the Washington State Historical Society‘s traveling exhibit Working with Tradition will be on display in the north-west gallery. This exhibit will explore the “hand-made” traditions carried on by artists in Washington State. Exhibit panels around the gallery will describe fourteen folk artists’ work. Examples of folk art from the museum’s own collection will also be featured.

This exhibit is brought to the Clark County Historical Museum through the generous support of Humanities Washington with media support from the Vancouver Business Journal.


Road to Equality: The Struggle for Women’s Rights in the Northwest

This exhibit closed on February 2nd, 2012.

This new exhibit continues our recognition of the centennial of Washington State women gaining (and keeping) the right to vote in 1910. (Oregon women gained their right to vote in 1912.) This exhibit was made possible due to the generous support of Margaret Colf Hepola, The Vancouver Business Journal and The Columbian.

Exhibit Women VotingThe Clark County Historical Museum will open their newest exhibit, Road to Equality: The Struggle for Women’s Rights in the Northwest on Thursday, June 24, 2010 , with a reception from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m . This new exhibit continues our recognition of the centennial of Washington State women gaining (and keeping) the right to vote in 1910. (Oregon women gained their right to vote in 1912.) Reception attendees will have the opportunity to make their own political buttons about issues of personal interest and vote on the Equal Rights Amendment while mingling with some of Vancouver’s legendary ladies as played by the Vancouver Heritage Ambassadors. This exhibit will also launch the museum’s first use of the Guide by Cell program which enables museum visitors to access additional information throughout the exhibit by using their cell phones. The program will also enable visitors to provide the museum with feedback about this newly created exhibit. Light refreshments will be served; the reception is free and open to the public.

From the victory of the 19th Amendment to the struggle to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, many women – and men as well – worked their entire adult lives to secure women’s rights. Today, in the Northwest and across the United States, women have made inroads into formerly male-dominated fields including politics and commerce, but it has been a long road and large disparities still remain. This exhibit will challenge as well as educate and entertain as you learn more about some of the Northwest’s heroines from pioneer times until today. Road to Equality will run through December 31, 2011. During the 18 month exhibition we will host a number of related public programs that will be held in conjunction with this exhibit so check in with museum staff or this website for upcoming details and scheduling information.

This exhibit was made possible due to the generous support of Margaret Colf Hepola, The Vancouver Business Journal and The Columbian.


Downloadable Paper Dolls (Pepper Kim, creator, CCHM Educational Advisory Committee Member)

Scavenger Hunt for the Road to Equality (Created by Legacy High School Teacher Pepper Kim)


Bridging the Gap: the History of the Interstate Bridge

This exhibit opened February 3rd, 2011 and closed on October 29th, 2011.

This exhibit features the subject of much local debate: the Interstate-5 bridge that spans the Columbia River from downtown Vancouver to Jantzen Beach. We created this exhibit in order to provide context for the current bridge debate by showing how the bridge was begun and how it has changed since the idea was first conceived over a century ago.

Although this exhibit is no longer on display at the museum, it will be on special exhibit on Saturday, January 21st and Sunday, January 22nd, 2012, at the Palmer-Wirfs Antique and Collectible Show at the Clark County Event Center in Ridgefield, Washington!

The Interstate Bridge is also the subject of a featured article in our 2010 Clark County History Annual, available now at the museum! Call us at (360) 993-5679 or send an email to for more information.


Autumn Trout Gathering

Brautigan Exhibit Trout Fishing Poster

This exhibit closed on January 30th, 2011.

This exhibit will feature previously unpublished photographs of noted author Richard Brautigan taken by photographer Eric Weber, posters and other memorabilia from his readings in San Francisco, a selection of the nearly 400 unpublished manuscripts donated to The Brautigan Library, and video and sound installations created by the Washington State University Vancouver Creative Media & Digital Culture faculty and students.

Please join us on Thursday October 7, 2010 from 5-9 PM for the opening of, Autumn Trout Gathering. This exhibit will feature previously unpublished photographs of noted author Richard Brautigan taken by photographer Eric Weber, posters and other memorabilia from his readings in San Francisco, a selection of the nearly 400 unpublished manuscripts donated to The Brautigan Library, and video and sound installations created by the Washington State University Vancouver Creative Media & Digital Culture faculty and students.

The exhibit is being curated by WSU V’s Dr. John Barber and Jeannette Altman and will run through January 30, 2011 (Brautigan’s birthday). At 7 PM noted Brautigan scholar and WSU V professor, Dr. John Barber will lecture on The Brautigan Library Challenge which will explain our exciting new museum program in more detail. Light refreshments will be available. Exhibit openings at the museum are free and open to the public; donations are appreciated.

Brautigan Mayonnaise Jar


Expressions of Community: Women Embracing Art

This exhibit closed in 2010.

Expressions of Community: Women Embracing Art

This exhibit featured the work of more than a dozen local female artists, ranging in media from acrylic and beadwork to sculpture and three-dimensional collage.